Friday, April 26, 2019

April Wrap-Up

April flew by in gusts of exciting moments, a bit of illness, a few super short vacation (college visits and a ski trip), and more.

Family news: My youngest made her college decision - this was a huge part of the last few months for our family and we are super proud of her. She had some really nice scholarship offers from various places and she decided on a big state school with a number of programs and opportunities.

Paddler's Cup is this weekend (my daughter will race, my husband will run sound, I will volunteer as I can with a sprained ankle). Pictures will be forthcoming on Instagram.

Due to all of the above, my reading report is going to be super short and not include pictures. (Bummer, I know.)

READING REPORT


Gemina Book 2 and Obsidio Book 3 of the Illuminae Files - I loved the way this trilogy broke some of the "rules" of writing. I felt like it offered me freedom as an author and I enjoyed the story! (YA SF) 5/5

Outliers by Gladwell - I finished this month and found it thought-provoking. (Non-fiction) 4/5

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - whoa. I'm not usually into endings like this one, but I found it to be an interesting to book to read for the unreliable narrator and story arc. (Literary-Contemporary-Drama) 4/5

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson - A really fun read I enjoyed thoroughly. (YA SF) 5/5

Summoned Siren Prophecy #3 - a good end to a fun series! I definitely didn't expect one of the twists. (YA Fantasy) 4/5

Breakwater – Broken Tides 1 - This was a fun read about mermaids, mermen, and racism within a community. (YA Fantasy - Christian underpinnings) 3.7/5

Voice of Dominion – Spoken Mage 3 - I am still loving Melanie Cellier as an author. I've read every one of her books and I enjoy each and every one of them. I'm looking forward to book 4 in this series. (YA Fantasy - Christian underpinnings.) 5/5

Gift of the Unmage – Worldweavers 1 - Fun and interesting. (Christian Fantasy) 5/5

Dickensen Academy by Grabowski  - A fun and thought-provoking read. (YA Fantasy) 3.7/5


WRITING REPORT


I didn't track overall word count, but I can say confidently I wrote over 15,000 words just based on what I've written in the last two weeks.

However, I stalled out on Bookbound and it took me two weeks to figure out why. I will be doing some short back-tracking to fix an issue I created in chapter 5. 

I wrote a new short story,  I wrote a children's picture book (a newish type of writing for me), and I worked on an interactive journal project. 

Also, I went to the local monthly meeting for the SCBWI and I really liked it. 
I'm meeting weekly with other writers at a Write-In event on Tuesdays and twice a month for a critique group. These events are helping me grow as a writer.

WRITING SUBMISSIONS

This is a little harder to write about, but I know tracking these kinds of things on my blog holds me accountable so:
Three short stories - rejected.
All three submitted again.
One new story submitted.
Novel query 2 for that superhero teen novel is still out there.
PB query 1 sent.

A story acceptance from a bit ago (2 months-ish) has been published in a new way with Tellables' Mother's Day Box of Chocolates. Tellables creates voice-driven conversational stories for talking devices. So, if you want to check it out, go here: Mother's Day Box of Chocolates. It will be available starting May 1st. Currently, you can listen to their False Key Box of Chocolates. 

If you have an Alexa, you can always just say: “Alexa, enable my box of chocolates.” Then, say: "Alexa, open my box of chocolates." My story is called "Grandmother's Legacy."

The Summer Romance Box of Chocolates is open for submissions! I've had some great e-mail exchanges and conversations with Amy Stapleton from Tellables so I'm helping Tellables find six more stories for the Summer Romance Box. They are offering a $5 token payment this time around to entice more authors. 

If you would like to write a less-than 300 word story, let me know via e-mail tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com or go here: https://tellables.com/author-tips/ 

It's a new (to me) way of telling stories and I think it's really interesting. Try it and see if you like it! 





VOICE-DRIVEN CONVERSATIONAL STORIES
FOR TALKING DEVICES





Wednesday, April 17, 2019

WEP April 2019: Captain Wrath and the Jewel Box


I almost missed the last day and I wrote this three weeks ago, but forgot to upload.
Here's my entry - super late.

I'm continuing to delve in the legends and history of my fictional character Captain Wrath, with help from Professor Shlump and also from Cecily, the leader of Captain Wrath's fan club. To read the earlier entry about Captain Wrath, go here: 28 Days.
This is an ongoing saga, and will continue in June.

To recap: Captain Wrath (a man in costume for a themed space ship cruise) has been recruited to work under cover to rescue victims of human trafficking. His sister went missing over a year ago. He has some problems with drugs, alcohol, and a general disregard for rules. He has a tendency to jump feet first without thinking, especially if he sees someone he believes needs rescuing.

The story is told via "historical" records of his Captain's log and commentary by those compiling or refuting the records.

999 words, not including the title
CAPTAIN WRATH AND THE JEWEL BOX
Captain Wrath’s Jewel Box is a new decryption from the legendary exploits of the individual known only as Captain Wrath whose true identity remains unknown. My colleagues and I continue to urge the Galaxy’s Hall of Heroes to strike Captain Wrath from their list. It’s ridiculous to believe one man saved “millions.” We have also discovered the “decryption team” is actually from a student fan club at Excelsior University. They couldn’t possibly be giving us correct information. We’ve included their latest letter as proof of their fallibility. (Dr. Aranus Shlump, Professor of Cultural Purity at Halitox University)

Dearest Members of the Captain Wrath Historical Society,
We have unearthed one of the original belongings of Captain Wrath! It’s an aquamarine jewel box with an authentic star map inside and a string of pearls. Our best decryption team is working on it along with the journal. Maybe the map will lead us to understand how the Captain saved the lives of millions of people. Maybe we will find out about his love life! Who knows? There’s so much more to uncover!
Sincerely,
Captain Wrath’s Biggest Fan, Cecily Rodgraves
PhD student of Heroes in History at Excelsior University

Captain's Log
16.4.2175 First Day Back Aboard the Wraith
After six weeks of grueling basic training from the GIA, the last thing I expected was a package on my desk. The GIA doesn't give out rewards for exemplary, or other, training.
Back to the package. It was wrapped in plain packaging.
When I opened it, I had to step away from my desk. My hands were shaking. I longed for a drink. I wanted to shout, but I couldn’t find my voice. My GIA training officer would not be pleased to see how a simple object could bring me to my knees. But it was my sister’s jewelry box. Lia’s favorite out of all the ones our family had given to her. It was from me for her thirteenth birthday.
            I know I should open the lid, but I just can’t. I don’t know who sent it to me. There’s no return address listed. When I finally called Garth, my Head of Security, he took the whole thing to the lab for clues to where it came from and why it showed up on my desk. I don’t know if it means my family found me, or if Lia is dead.

17.4.2175 In Port, Waiting for Orders
            It is Lia’s jewelry box. They found her prints on it. The shipping package showed nothing. The ship lab scanned it, opened it, and sent it back to me. It took me two hours to have the courage to open it.
            There’s a star map inside. Coordinates for a journey which lead to the Waystar Moon, a hidden colony infamous for housing criminals. It’s a map someone in Secure Force should have. It’s a map the Space Force should have, or the GIA. But I’m not giving it up. It doesn’t matter where it came from. I’m following the coordinates. I need to speak to my crew. I can’t take them into a fight without their knowledge, can I?
            I really don’t want to tell Miss Nosy Counselor. She’ll probably tell me to turn it over to the “Proper” authorities who can deal with it.

19.4.2175 Underway
I waited thirty standard hours before making my decision. My AA sponsor would be proud of me. My GIA training officer would be kicking me in the pants. I gathered my crew and told them about my sister Lia, about how she was taken, and about the star map inside the jewelry box. As predicted, Counselor Amai wanted me to hand it over to the authorities. Hank, Telli, and many of the others disagreed. Hank put Counselor Amai in the brig for her own protection. We’re underway now to the first set of coordinates.

20.4.2175 At the First Set of Coordinates
It’s a pirate space port. Real pirates. Overall, most of the pirates here actually do have terrible taste in garish clothes like my costume. My crew and I are trying to blend in, but as always, Telli or Garth take turns making sure I don’t actually drink anything inebriating. What they don’t know is that I would never put my cravings above finding my sister. The strongest Rock Troll vodka doesn’t begin to compare to the justice I crave for Lia.

21.4.2175 Second Set of Coordinates
We had to leave in a rush from our first port of call. Hank took offense to some traffickers he discovered. We joined him in the fight. I’m not proud my anger almost took me away from our main objective: freeing the slaves. Now, we have eleven in the medical bay and we’ve decided to rest our wounds at this second set of coordinates, an old mining colony which appears to be abandoned.

22.4.2175 Underway
The mining colony wasn’t abandoned. The creatures who live on those barren rocks have acid for blood and they seem to feed on any species they contact. We barely escaped with our lives and had to blow the place to space dust.

23.4.2175 Third Set of Coordinates
I’m glad I deciphered the coordinate code from the jewel box. I recognized it as the one Lia and I used as children. It’s given me hope for this journey.
However, this place we’ve found is dangerous. I wonder what Lia's trying to tell me.
The primary intelligent life on this planet is plant-based and symbiotic. The ruling class of plants secrete a substance which forces all others to their will. I’m glad we have a good toxicologist on board. We could have all been killed.
Is Lia trying to warn me away or warn me of dangers ahead?
No matter. I'm going to rescue her.

Dear Fans,
We regret we have been unable to finish the decryption past this point. Our funds are low and college is expensive. Please be patient.
Sincerely,
Cecily Redgrave



 Go here to find more awesome stories for this month's theme: WEP




Wednesday, April 3, 2019

IWSG APRIL 2019: Insecurities, plans, news

Founded and hosted by Alex J. Cavnaugh, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a wonderful writing community for all writers of all levels of experience.
This months co-hosts are:

The Optional Question for the Month is:
If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

My answer: The first one. I struggle with getting this one right and it's the most important chapter!

My writing insecurity, plans, and news:
I decided somewhere in the middle of last month to start working on two other projects. I put aside novel "K" (I don't like my working title) which was new and I put aside my superhero novel (out with beta readers who might help me solve the problem I see in it before I send it to a publisher/agent again). 

I hope I'm not on the verge of overwhelming myself with projects, but here's what I'm actually working on these days: 

Project 1: Bookbound (I like this title so far). This project is a solidly MG fantasy - there are no "maybe it's YA" moments like there are with Anomalies/Greenling/the-superhero-book. I just started writing it in my journal one day, then wrote up what I had and kept going. It's around the 12,000 word mark now and I want to finish it before I go back to K or revising the superhero project.

Project 2: The Short Works Project. This is an ongoing project that I let slide for a while. I have this strange desire to write over 500 publishable short works (poems and short stories) in my career.  I have decided to try to write, finish, and submit at least forty more stories this year.
  
I am thankful for publications who publish my work. Just recently, I had a 100 word story published at The Drabble.
Click here to read "My Father's Eyes."

IWSG NEWS


We're announcing the genre and opening date for the next IWSG anthology!

Our genre is Middle grade historical: adventure/fantasy and the opening date is May 1. The best brains are on the theme, and that will be announced on the opening date. So this is just to whet your appetite - you could use that time to brush up your knowledge of the genre if it's not your usual bag, for example. We're looking forward to more great entries!





Masquerade: Oddly Suited will be out April 30th!

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.


Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

Website - IWSG Anthologies

Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary

Print ISBN 9781939844644

eBook ISBN 9781939844651


You can sign up now for the April WEP Challenge!


An old locket with a faded photo inside...A string of pearls reminiscent of a special evening...A magic jewel box that comes up with just the right piece whenever the owner needs it...A jewel box out of reach of a regular working class person who passes it in a fancy shop window everyday...Maybe a ring associated with terrible political intrigues and heartbreak?...Or...maybe a missing jewel box after a murder...bought in some faraway place...
Just some of the ways you can weave this prompt, there are many, many others. As you can see, all genres are your oyster with this prompt - romance, adventure, fantasy, speculative, crime...What use will you find for the jewel box?



We are partnering with DIY MFA this spring to bring you a great program for writers.

Before we announce details, we’ll be sharing several of their learning podcasts.

The next one is - Episode 241: Twisting the Tropes of Military Science Fiction — Interview with Glynn Stewart.

Check it out and be watching next month for details about the program.



Just keeping it simple this month!

IWSG on Instagram
















In May, the Goodreads Book Club will be focusing on this book:


Method Acting for Writers: Learn Deep Point Of View Using Emotional Layers by Lisa-Hall Wilson